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Special Presentations at Southeastern Charity

2007 Southeastern Charity Horse Show Hall of Fame



(Editor’s note: The following speech was written by George Anne Nash and was read Wednesday night by Tuffy Owens.)


Ladies and Gentlemen:


It is indeed a pleasure and honor to welcome a very well respected and accomplished couple into the 2007 Southeastern Charity Horse Show Hall of Fame.  She grew up as the daughter of horse trainers at one of the most prestigious Saddlebred farms in the country.  He meanwhile started training horses in his home state of North Carolina and worked for Paul Payne in Statesville as a teenager.  He later worked for Bel-Air Farm, Spring Valley Farm, and Cynthia Wood Stables in Santa Barbara, Calif.


But fate crossed their paths when he was hired at the family farm in Cleveland, Tenn., in 1971. Together they formed a lasting partnership and trained together in the 70s and early 80s at Alpha-Sun Stables in Brewton, Ala., and the famed Oak Hill Farms in Harrodsburg, Ky.  In 1985 they returned home to the family farm and a remarkable career has flourished.


With their capable staff of Richard Witt, Pedro Martinez and Ramon Gomez they have shown, bred, trained, or sold over 32 world’s champions, seven reserve world’s champions and two world’s grand champions.  To name just a few: Callaway’s Career Girl, Mini Griggs, Hayfield’s Grand Fashion, Lovin’ Lass, Harrodsburg, Princess Blanchita, Night Odessey, Out In Dixie, Sammyshine, Ah What A Night, Marilyn McCoo, Tashitana, Tallwood’s Wild Fancy, At Night, Night Sight, Dusty Beau, Rare Elegance, Comedienne, Cedarcreek Farewell, Lady Maya, Dearest One, Bingo Night, Cajun Cat, Town Dance, Mayme Phelps, Talk Of The Town and two Three-Gaited World’s Grand Champions – Hometown Hero and Yes It’s True. 


But perhaps their greatest legacy is their wonderful family and network of customers.  She coached the first World Cup Five-Gaited team competing in South Africa and was accompanied by her mother, sister and niece who was a member of the team.  This year they have been blessed with the arrival of a great niece, Pearson Waller, and great nephew, Harrison Everhart, who represent the fourth generation of horseman in the rich tradition of this family owned and operated farm.  As a matter of fact, their pony named Macaroni is already waiting for their lessons to begin.  Please welcome in center ring the renowned trainers of Blythewood Farm – Anne and Sam Stafford.


They are joined in center ring by our 1989 inductee (and mother and mother-in-law), Mrs. David Neil, niece, Key Waller and assistants Pedro Martinez and Ramon Gomez. Presenting is our 2006 inductee, Marion Hutcheson.



2007 Bill Medicus Caretaker’s Award



(Editor’s note: The following was written by George Anne Nash and read Friday night by Tuffy Owens.)


Ricky Richardson, better known throughout the horse world as “Slim”, recipient has been a devoted caretaker for over 30 years.  He has worked for some of the great horsemen – learning and perfecting his trade from such greats as Donna Moore, Tom Moore, Merrill Moore and now makes his home in Land O’ Lakes, Fla., at the Don Judd Stables.  His hard work and devotion have made him a key part of the Judd Stables team. His work ethic and determination to see that things are done “according to Don” have helped to make things run smoothly and turn horses out in the manner the stables continuously tries to pursue.  His tough, quiet exterior disappears when he connects with his horses, and he has earned the right to be one of the top caretakers in the industry.


Thank you Slim from everyone at Judd Stables and the horse show world!


Please welcome Mrs. Margaret Medicus (sons, William and John, granddaughters, Sarah and Abby) to center ring for the presentation of the trophy and the $100 for Ricky. Also included for Slim is a bucket of “grooming goodies” donated by Corona/Lexol.



CH Spindazzle Retirement



(Editor’s note: The following was written by Jackie Hale and read Saturday evening by Tuffy Owens.)


Champagne Daniel was foaled in May 1989 at Hulse Stable in Center, Mo., by Champagne Fizz and out of the mare Honeytrap.  The late Gary Jones of Jones Valley Farm in Anniston, Ala., and his young trainer, James Hale, made their annual trip to visit Hulse in the fall of 1991 to purchase young prospects.  They selected a two-year-old for a customer and Ron threw Champagne Daniel in on the deal for $2,500 because, according to Hulse, “He just didn’t have enough quality.”  Quality or not, just a few weeks later James realized that the common-headed colt had a bigger heart and more desire to “be somebody” than the other prospect that they had paid 10 times more for.


James campaigned “Danny” in three-year-old five-gaited classes in late 1992 and junior classes the following season, scoring wins across the Southeast.  He caught the eye of Todd Miles at DeLovely Farm and the Shively’s purchased him in 1994, selling him later that year to Beth Clifton for her daughter, Calhoun. Nelson Green trained him for the Cliftons, who gave him the name Spindazzle.  He was then sold to Richard Greaves in 1996, who earned Spindazzle’s first two championship status points in the amateur five-gaited division.


Amy Weaver took the reins in 1997 and showed him very successfully in the amateur five-gaited and gaited pleasure divisions under the direction of Brian Reimer Stables, racking up seven more CH points to his credit.  In 1999, Spindazzle coliced and underwent surgery, then foundered.  Despite recommendations that he be put to sleep, Amy insisted that he be given time to recover, and his large heart saved him once again.  She turned him out until the fall of 2001, when she moved him to James Hale Stables.  He was shown lightly in 2002, then the Hales leased him from Amy for their daughter, Ashton, to show in 2003.  He was Ashton’s first five-gaited mount and despite the fact that she didn’t have any idea what she was doing, it didn’t matter because Spindazzle did – she just needed to hang on and enjoy the ride.  Once Ashton got the hang of it, they were a match made in heaven and the two swept the junior exhibitor five-gaited division for three seasons, earning seven more points and his ASHA Championship designation right here at Southeastern Charity in 2005.  


Amy graciously allowed Ashton to purchase Spindazzle that same year to insure that his home with the Hale family would be permanent.  (In fact, she made James sign a contract guaranteeing that he would never again be sold!)   The Hales wanted Spindazzle to go out on top - so in June of this year he made his final victory pass at the Chattanooga/Cleveland Charity Horse Show, winning the Junior Exhibitor Five-Gaited Pleasure class.


Spindazzle is a very special horse to all of the people standing here in the ring with him tonight.  They can all attest to the fact that he gives 150 percent – not to mention a thrill – every time you throw a leg over his back.  He is special to James because he brings back fond memories of James’s early days as a trainer - and he is one of the young horses that helped James make a name for himself in the business.  Then, as if he knew that James needed him again, he comes back, full circle, to help raise Ashton.  There may never be another Spindazzle for either one of them.


It is with great pleasure that we present CH Spindazzle in his final show ring appearance at Southeastern Charity, his favorite show, before his favorite crowd. 


He has racked out of this ring with a tricolor ribbon many times, and tonight will be no exception – except this time they are going to do it their favorite way – bareback.         

He may be going home to Alabama, but he’ll always be a Georgia boy.  Give it up one last time for CH Spindazzle!

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